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                                          EDMONDSON STORY My parents were living in Burnage where I first went to school. My brother, Roy, won a scholarship to Manchester Grammar School, and after National Service in the RAF, went to Manchester University to do a BSc, Degree in Electrical Engineering and moved to Birmingham. I did an Arts Degree at Manchester and then worked as a Careers Advisory Officer with Education Authorities in Warwickshire and later Nottinghamshire. My father died in 1974 and my mother in 1987. They moved to live near Roy in Stone, Staffordshire after my father retired from his work with the Manchester Corporation Waterworks, where he was a Principal Land Agent, although the love of his life was always amateur drama, He was an excellent producer of musical comedies. Roy married Margaret Bird in 1960, when they were both working for the General Electric Company in Birmingham. Catherine Anne was born in 1962 and Alison Clare (Alix) in 1965. The children both went to Alleyne’s Comprehensive School, where Margaret was a school secretary. Roy died in 1989. Margaret stayed on living in Stone for several years, and afterwards moved to Pottesbury in Northants, to be near to her daughter, Alix and her family. Catherine trained in Stage Management in Central School, London, and later went to the USA, where she married a stage electrician, Todd Wren, in Florida on 1 January 1994. The marriage was dissolved in 2000. She now lives in Harrow, London. Alix married David Dees, a solicitor, in 1998. They have one daughter Beatrice, born in 2001, and they live in Pottesbury, Northants. Alix is a computer software designer and has her own business. I was a bachelor until 1990, until I married Jenny Johnson. Jenny had a teenage son, Alex. He is now married to Sally Anne and they both live in Nottingham. He works for the police in an admin capacity on intelligence work, and Sally is a micro- biologist. Jenny and I retired to Devon in 2006, and we have just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Please feel free to ask any questions about all this. As you will see from my booklet, family history has been one of my hobbies for a long time, so naturally, I have a few questions for you. I was very interested to hear about the Chef Salt connection. Did William Edmondson start this up? Do you know anything about its origins? Was in based in Manchester, or in Cheshire? When was the link lost? My own knowledge of the Edmondson family is very limited, although I recall old Uncle Ernest, who I always liked, Auntie Polly (vaguely). Albert and his wife Margaret, and Auntie May, who was very deaf but a good dressmaker. I visited her home in Gorton. I can only recall seeing Jim (who we knew as Chorlton) once and his wife on a single occasion, when we went to see the first baby. I also met, young Ernest once. Is he still alive? Whereabouts do the younger members of the family live? I knew Brian when he was a lad, about my own age. He was never a close friend, but I was in some plays with him, which Roy organised in our garage during the war for the war effort officially, but really because we enjoyed showing off and collecting coppers from our parents, who came to see them. Connie and Jack were occasional visitors and came to see the plays. I also remember Brian being in some Scout Gang Shows that I went to see also. Later, our paths crossed when we were both doing National Service in Egypt and were posted to the Headquarters of the Middle East Land Forces at Fayid in the Suez Canal Zone. This was in 1951. I remember seeing Fred, when he arrived back in the UK after a spell in Africa, and then visiting his widow, Marie, when we had a family holiday in Jersey. I also recall two family stories I was told that Albert was a Captain during the First World War, and after the occupation of Germany, was made up to the rank of Major and put in charge of the administration of one of the large German cities for a few months, The other story concerned your grandfather. Apparently, he was very unhappy as a child after his parents had died. He went to live with his eldest brother Frank, for a while, but ran away to London and fell in with a gang of thieves. The tale my Auntie Louie told me seemed straight out of Charles Dickens. The family were frantic trying to find him and had no news for about a year. Then Frank got a letter from Bernardo’s Homes to say that he had been picked up by the police. Frank came round to see Hannah (or Annie, as she was known) and Frank and my grandfather went to London to collect him. Louie remembered the night they brought him back, swathed in a great overcoat that was too big for him. He did not want to go back to Frank’s, so he stayed with Annie and Bob for a while. Then I believe he went to live with Ernest and Polly. But years later, when he and Albert were in London, William told him he would show him the area he had been living in. Albert said it was a terribly squalid place, swarming with unsavoury characters and still teeming with urchins.  We were all very happy for Albert when he found a wife at last, and took to Margaret immediately. Strangely, I was about the same age when I married Jenny. There’s a lot to be said for taking your time to choose!
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